BJP leader promises voters free smartphones

Kolkata: BJP leader Mukul Roy has stirred up a controversy after he promised gifting smartphones to first-time voters in Jalpaiguri district, if the party emerged victorious at the Zilla Parishad there in the upcoming panchayat elections.

“All the young voters will be given free smart phones if we win the Zilla Parishad seats,” BJP leader Mukul Roy said at a rally.

“If we manage winning the Jalpaiguri Zilla Parishad, we will be giving away smartphones to all the young voters who have turned 18 years,” Roy said at a rally yesterday.

The Central government is advocating cashless transactions and “for that we require smartphones”, he said.

The ruling Triamool Congress hit back at Roy, saying the people of the state will not surrender to such “lucrative” offers.

“The people of Bengal may be poor, but I am sure that they will not surrender to all these lucrative offers. We have brought this to the notice of the State Election Commission. We hope that they will act soon,” TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.

The TMC’s Jalpaiguri District president Sourav Chakraborty said Roy had violated the model code of conduct, and that the party would take legal action against him.

“This is only to befool the common people. We are taking legal step against him in this matter. He must apologise to the people. This is the political culture of the BJP,” he said.

CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty added: “Mukul has definitely violated the model code of conduct. This was his practice when he was with the TMC because (chief minister) Mamata Banerjee’s party endorses such moves. The SEC must step into the matter and take appropriate action.”